Swinging for the seats
Sure, the movie was "Mr. 3000," starring Bernie Mac. Yeah, the presenter was a lobbyist. But it was a film lobbyist, and the lobbyist was Dan Glickman, and the setting was the Motion Picture Association of America during its first-ever private screening since Glickman succeeded Jack Valenti as its head. And you could only get an invite if you were connected to Kansas, per the insistence of the new regime. How cool was that?
Indeed -- we weren't merely Heartland Hoi-polloi this evening. We were to see and be seen -- Sen. Pat Roberts, shiny-headed and ebullient, casually chatting with long-time friend Glickman. Rep. Dennis Moore and former Rep. Jim Slattery showing off their Democratic cameraderie and bipartisan good-naturedness with Rep. Todd Tiahrt (Glickman, whose 18-year congressional career ended when Tiahrt beat him in the Revolution of '94, thanked the congressman for giving him his start in his current career). Dynamic lobbyists, think-tank intellectuals and gregarious Hill staffers, Kansas-proliferant and dining on -- what else -- beef!
Since Glickman was named to the MPAA job in July, I've heard a lot of good-natured joking about how everyone connected to Kansas would suddenly start flashing their film credentials, now that One of Our Own had what passes for D.C. celebrity. (Alas, Glickman said it isn't as La-La Land as one might fantasize. One month already on the job, and the only star he's met is Alicia Silverstone.) So far, so good. 'Twas a wheatfield golden start for Glickman's career, featuring a movie produced by his son (and one in-joke. If you see the movie, look for the Houston Astros pitcher named "Glickman."), and a good time had by all.
Now -- about that ratings system ...